Year 7 is an introduction to the way in which students experience drama. In Year 7 you will have to think about certain situations and how you would react or behave in some situations. Your imagination will be tested to the full and you will learn how to develop and sustain a role or character. You will achieve this by following two extended drama projects lasting for 12 weeks. In the first drama you will explore the mysteries surrounding an old manor house and the equally mysterious person who is offering £100 to anyone who will spend one night in the house. In the second drama you will become citizens of a far away civilisation who need to find out the reasons why their ancestors had to flee from their homes hundreds of years ago.
In Year 8 you will continue to use and develop the skills and methods of working that you developed in Year 7 but both of the drama projects in Year 8 are based on actual events. You will therefore have to research some facts about these events and try to understand through the drama what it would have felt like to be in certain situations. In other words you will have to empathise with some of the characters in the drama. In Year 8 you will also begin to learn how to represent some events in a physical manner. One of the events that you will explore probably occurred within the living memory of some of your older relatives. One of the events is embedded in the memory of mankind.
Drama lessons in Year 9 become even more challenging both in terms of the subject matter and also the level at which you are expected to perform and contribute to a drama situation. It would be fair to say that the schemes of work in Year 9 reflect our current society, its values and the consequences of making the wrong decisions. Perhaps more than in any other year you will need to empathise with some of the characters that you will be exploring. You will also discuss the situations in which those characters find themselves. Is it easy to make the right choices? All of these issues will again be explored in two drama projects. One will focus on Willy Russell’s play ‘Blood Brothers’ and the other drama will look at a continuing social problem that exists in every nation on Earth.
In Year 10 we now offer the new BTEC specification BTEC (NQF) Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts. The BTEC course allows you to explore your passion for drama through individual units of work. The units of work include:
- Acting Skills
- Individual Showcase
- Preparation, Performance and Production
In Year 10 the focus of the work will be on the individual showcase unit and the acting skills unit. As part of the individual showcase you will have to perform two contrasting monologues based on a theme set by the exam board. Your monologues will be performed and recorded for examination purposes. You will also have to write a letter of application for a performing arts job. This will also be written under exam conditions and will be externally assessed.
The acting skills unit of work will enable you to assess your own performing strengths and weaknesses through the use of a skills audit. This will enable you to focus on aspects of your performing that still need developing. This unit will also allow give you the opportunity to perform a scripted play, suitable for public performances.
Year 11 is very much a continuation of the Year 10 course but it will become more intense. The emphasis shifts to working in an even more professional manner to produce a final performance. It will be essential to adopt a company atmosphere that will allow all performers to flourish and show their true potential as performers. There may be opportunities to collaborate with other subject areas to produce a highly professional production.
In year 12 we currently offer two BTEC courses:
- BTEC National Extended Certificate
- BTEC National Diploma
BTEC National Diploma
The BTEC National Diploma course is specifically structured for those students who are passionate about exploring the possibility of working within the performing arts industry. The vocational course allows students to study a wide variety of units that will increase their knowledge and skills base within the performing arts. All units of work will contain a written component either in the form of research work, journal evidence, working notebooks or formal written components. This course is the equivalent of two 'A' Level qualifications.
BTEC National Extended Certificate
The BTEC National Subsidiary course is a two year course but you are only required to complete four units of work over that two year period. Therefore the subsidiary course will allow you to follow your interest in drama whilst allowing you to pursue other courses offered in the sixth form prospectus. The course is the equivalent of 1 A’level qualification.
Both of the BTEC courses become more intense in Year 13 with a focus on completing all the necessary units of work. There is a particular emphasis on completing the mandatory units of work. Both courses require students to perform a final production in front of a live audience. This is likely to be the last unit of work to be covered as it essentially forms the final production for both courses.
How do we assess you during your Drama education?
As performing arts students you will be continually assessed throughout the schemes of work that you will be following.
In Year 7 the department will carry out a ‘baseline assessment’. This is an assessment of your performing ability within the first couple of weeks of joining the school. It is not a test but simply an indicator for the staff who teach you. We base the assessment on a short performance task which is integral to the first scheme of work. At periods within the project you will be assessed again so that we can measure your progress. You will, of course, be assessed again at the end of each project. The assessment information is recorded within the department and used to help you assess your own performance during the school’s regular target setting sessions. The relevant assessment information is also included in the school’s interim and final report schedule.
In Years 10 and 11, all of your drama work is internally assessed but it is also checked and verified by the Edexcel exam board on a regular basis. Some of the work that you produce in Years 10 and 11 will be recorded for assessment purposes but you will also have to record your own progress in the form of a journal. In some cases you will also need to provide evidence that you have an understanding of business practices in the performing arts.
In Years 12 and 13 your work will initially be assessed internally but a vast majority of your work will have to be submitted for external marking or verification.